An experiment was carried out to assess the effect of morantel tartrate in the faeces of calves treated with a bolus on the survival and development of Ostertagia ostertagi eggs. Since the drug delivered from the bolus greatly reduces the nematode population in an infected animal and thus the number of eggs excreted it was necessary to mix O ostertagi eggs into the faeces of calves to which boluses had been administered. In three preliminary experiments it was shown that the methods used to extract the nematode eggs from faeces of infected cattle and remix them into faeces from uninfected cattle did not appear to affect their development into larvae or their even distribution in the faeces into which they had been remixed. The concentration of morantel tartrate lethal to O ostertagi eggs was in the range 0.0015 to 0.0025 M in vitro. It was demonstrated that the presence of the drug in the faeces of dosed calves prevented the maturation of approximately 99 per cent of O ostertagi eggs to infective larvae between days 7 and 84 after the administration of a bolus and of 75 per cent on day 91. These results help to explain the well recognised effect of the bolus in cleaning pastures of O ostertagi.
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